As part of the overall SFB collaborative effort, we are bringing together the entire Heidelberg community supported by the SFB881. Our meeting will run from April 10-12, 2017 (lunch time till lunch time) in the beautiful environment of Kloster Schöntal. As this workshop also has an SFB-strategic aspect, we are counting on the attendance of all direct SFB participants.

Early 2017 marks the halfway point for the second funding period of the SFB881 Programme "The Milky Way System" and, assuming a third funding period is granted, also of the entire 12-year programme. This marks an excellent moment for bringing together the SFB-supported community in Heidelberg for a 2.5-day retreat, with the goal of exchanging updates on the current subprojects, strengthening the existing collaborations supported by the SFB, providing a feeding ground for new collaborations, and strengthening intra-Heidelberg collaborations with an eye towards the application for the third funding period.


Galactic astronomy and astrophysics is currently going through a phase of unprecedented excitement, thanks to the arrival of several revolutionary observational facilities. Gaia is about to provide six-dimensional phase space information for hundreds of millions of stars in the Galaxy, which in combination with detailed chemical abundances provides unique insight in the formation and assembly history of the Milky Way and its halo. ALMA is providing zoomed-in observations of the molecular clouds and cores from which stars and planets form, from the solar neighbourhood to the extreme environment of the Galactic Centre. These new facilities build on a broad range of major surveys that have been completed over the past years. In addition, recent computational developments now enable the modelling of the Milky Way system at spatial resolutions that for the first time provide a match to the observations. Thanks to the SFB881 Programme "The Milky Way System", Heidelberg is playing a world-leading role in these areas.

We are organising a workshop to bring together the SFB-supported community in Heidelberg and foster the synergies and collaborations in our ongoing efforts towards understanding the rich astrophysics of the Milky Way system. This will constitute an opportunity, unprecedented in the SFB so far, to have an extended, purely science-focused meeting involving all the scientific players of all SFB subprojects to coherently present and discuss the ongoing work. The workshop will connect all areas covered by the SFB programme, i.e. observations, theory, and simulations of the interstellar medium, star formation, feedback, stellar clusters, globular clusters, stellar populations, stellar remnants, galactic structure, chemical abundances, galactic archaeology, and galaxy formation and evolution.


Our retreat workshop is expressly intended to provide a platform for all current SFB projects. It will strongly encourage exchange between the subprojects, between theorists, observers, and numericists, between all academic levels, and between scientists from the several Heidelberg institutes. We anticipate a small number of broader overview talks by the SFB subproject PIs, but the majority of talks should be given by SFB employees on their scientific results. The workshop will feature long coffee and lunch breaks to facilitate the anticipated exchange. It will be concluded with a scientific discussion to set the scene for the efforts towards the third funding proposal, which is planned to be submitted in early 2018.

Given that we have not had a purely science-driven, SFB-wide workshop before, we strongly encourage all SFB employees, members, and sub-project PIs to participate in this workshop. The SFB will be covering travel and accommodation for all participants.


  • December 21, 2016: First Announcement
  • January 31, 2017: Second announcement, registration opens
  • February 28, 2017: Abstract deadline
  • March 17, 2017: Programme announced
  • April 10, 2017: Workshop begins


To register, please fill out the registration form below (it is not an image, please scroll) or click HERE.


The workshop will run from lunch time (starting 12:00) on Monday April 10, 2017, until lunch time (ending 14:00) on Wednesday April 12, 2017. The detailed programme will be announced here in early March.


The workshop will be held in the beautiful and relaxing environment of Kloster Schöntal, some 80 km east from Heidelberg. It can easily be reached by public transport. Travelling to Kloster Schöntal is possible by taking the train train and bus:

  • Train S1 departing at 08:55 from Heidelberg Hbf, track 7, to Osterburken (arrival 10:23, track 1)
  • Train RE4927 departing at 10:32 from Osterburken, track 2, to Möckmühl (arrival 10:43, track 3)
  • NVH-Regionalbus 11 to Hohebach Mitte, departing at 11:20 from Möckmühl Bahnhof, arriving at stop Schöntal Kloster at 11:47

For returning to Heidelberg by public transport on April 12, the best travel option will be listed here after the programme has been announced.


  • Diederik Kruijssen, ARI/ZAH (contact)
  • Hans-Walter Rix, MPIA
  • Eva Grebel, ARI/ZAH


  • Maria Bergemann, MPIA/GC
  • Henrik Beuther, MPIA/PSF
  • Eva Grebel, ARI/ZAH
  • Diederik Kruijssen, ARI/ZAH
  • David Martinez-Delgado, ARI/ZAH
  • Andreas Quirrenbach, LSW/ZAH
  • Hans-Walter Rix, MPIA/GC
  • Bekdaulet Shukirgaliyev, ARI/ZAH
  • Volker Springel, HITS
  • ...